Complaining about someone stealing your IP when you sat on your hands is like complaining that someone broke into your house when you left the front door wide open. If you have items at home that you value, you take steps to protect them. You put a lock on your door. You hire an alarm company. You get a Rottweiler, Fang, as a household pet.
The same applies to your intellectual property. If you value it, take steps to protect it. First, though, you need to know what you have. My article, “Protect Your Intellectual Property,” looks at the top five categories of intellectual property. Give some thought to what you’ve created for your company. Can it be protected by:
- Trademark (or service mark)
- Trade dress
- Trade secret?
Many small companies create websites, brochures, articles and other written materials that are strong candidates for copyright protection. Check out attorney Mark Grossman’s article “Some Copyright Mechanics,” to get familiar with the truths and the myths about how to protect your copyrights.